View Full Version : Local News 6 Chicago schools begin longer school day

09-27-2011, 12:18 PM
From Chicago Tribune (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-longer-school-day-0927-20110927,0,5847574.story) by Joel Hood:

Monday was the new normal at Fiske Elementary School on the South Side, with more time dedicated to math and reading and, for the first time since many of the school's kids were in diapers, recess.

Fiske, in the city's Woodlawn neighborhood, was one of six Chicago Public Schools that extended their school days by 90 minutes beginning Monday, the culmination of a contentious push by CPS leaders and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to increase one of the shortest school days in the nation.

If extending the school day was, as critics have suggested, an experiment in adolescent education, it was difficult to find anyone inside or outside Fiske on Monday who objected.

"I wish they'd keep them in school 24 hours," joked one Fiske parent as he arrived to pick up his two children.

"How can more time in school be a bad thing?" asked another.

Principal Cynthia Miller supported the move to a longer day to give teachers and their students more time to focus on math, reading and science. Miller overhauled the school's day, starting it 45 minutes earlier and ending it 45 minutes later. That allowed for 30 minutes of added instruction time in each of those core subjects. A 25-minute recess was added by juggling other schedules.

For one day at least, students and teachers responded, Miller said.

"It has been a culture of calm. It's been wonderful," she said.

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